My late friend, Bob Webber, helped to write and establish what is now known as the "Call to an Ancient Evangelical Future." This call is available at Ancient Future Worship. There is also an active and interesting blog carried on in association with this call. I encourage you to read the Call and visit the blog spot if you have never done so. It is consistent with my vision of the past, the present and the future of the Church. If you want to know where I am headed read this material. If you want a vision that is rooted in ancient and classical Christianity then read it. If you believe that the future must pass through the historical past then read it.

The second annual gathering around the Ancient Evangelical Future Call took place November 30 to December 1 at Northern Seminary in the Chicago suburb of Lombard. The subject this year was: "On the Primacy of the Biblical Narrative." Plenary speakers included Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Scot McKnight and Edith Humphrey. I have read Kevin a great deal and find myself in deep agreement with his theological vision and work. I have read Scot and his blogs with great interest. I know Scot, respect him a great deal, and often find him immensely helpful. I disagree with his "Anabaptist perspective" on some things and thus tease him about his inability love me as I am, a confessional Reformed Christian. He teases me by saying that Aristotle said that a true friend is never willing to leave his friend in his error!

The new speaker this year, at least for me, was Dr. Edith Humphrey. She is a biblical scholar who teaches at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and did her doctoral work under N. T. Wright. She is also an engaging person, a great speaker and teacher. She was the highlight of the event for me personally. Edith’s title was: "Persons, Plots and Propositions." She showed how the Bible is both narrative and proposition. We must not make one primary over the other she argued. When asked what is primary she said, "Neither. The primary reality in the Christian story and in all Christian reality is a person, the person of the triune God revealed in Jesus Christ!" This is what I have tried to say, and hopefully said better over time, for ten years. This is also what I say that is most often misunderstood by my critics who want to insist on either propositionalism (note the difference between saying propositions are important but not propositionalism) or a narrative theology without doctrinal confessions.

I found the AEF event profoundly helpful. You can order CDs of the event from the Grow Center Web site or by email at: You may also want to check out the various events hosted by the Grow Center at Northern in 2008 if you live within driving distance of Chicago. There are some very good events planned. Northern Seminary was loved by Bob Webber during his last few years of life. They received him with much joy and the feelings were mutual. I believe this seminary has a great place in helping revitalize the mainline Protestant churches.   

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  1. Gene Redlin December 3, 2007 at 11:00 pm

    I heard and read much about this conference and “Movement”.
    It frankly sounds more like wishful thinking than anything else.
    It’s true that 20 somethings are in the flow of whatever is going on spiritually. Representing them as a wave rising of this back to the past movement is not really a fair evaluation. Hope based reality.
    What is needed is using some of the symbols and presentations of the past in a framework of present day Christianity.
    We as a Church are not on the way back to “traditional” church services. It’s over.
    We need a fresh wave of the Holy Spirit.

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